Restaurant Night

January 25, 2012

Boy oh boy was that chocolate-cherry bread good!!!

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I ate more than my share of the innards in our test loaf :)

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The staff agreed it was fab

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I also discovered a lovely package of dates from our family friend Tracy! She is a California date aficionado!

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After my photoshoot and taste-test, I went to Whole Foods to pick up a few things – mostly fruit and veg because we have a ton of meals in our fridge right now! Pasta salad, meatloaf from Karen ready to be cooked, leftover refried beans, salmon and more!

I found myself in the cereal aisle after all of our discussions lately about kinds. There are so many wonderful cereals, but I am drawn to WF brand because it’s so much less expensive than the $5-a-box options.

I ended up with two boxes in my hand – plain + boring wheat squares (aka Mini Wheats) and FROSTED wheat squares. In college my roommate and I would eat the frosted mini wheats we took from our eating house kitchen by the handful! So good. [Hi Megan!]

But as I studied the nutrition facts between the two today, I noticed 11 grams of sugar verses zero grams and 30 extra (sugary) calories in the frosted. I imagined myself eating it with milk and banana, and the sugar seemed unnecessary. So I did the right thing and got the plain.

PLEASE TELL ME I WON’T REGRET IT!! Because I have been ever since!

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Tonight for dinner, Matt and I took Karen out for Restaurant Week to Orzo!

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Such a delicious restaurant tucked away in Main Street Market.

Love that every table gets hummus + pita!

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Restaurant Week here is 3 courses for $26 (yeah!)

I started with the mussels, sunken in a LOVELY garlicky cream sauce. I also tasted Matt’s artichoke + white bean bruschetta – mm!

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For my main course I had the Slow Cooked Arrabbiata with Beef + Pork Meatballs [local!] and a heapin’ helpin’ of fresh basil over penne. The dish was incredible and I have about 70% of it leftover to eat for lunches!

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Matt ordered the same Neapolitan Baked Penne that we had the last time we visited [um…barely remember that dinner!]. It was just as good!

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Dessert Menu!

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I had the Pot de Crème

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Karen chose the Italian Citrus Cake (which was excellent!)

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And Matt chose the rice pudding, which we were all too full to eat (somehow there is always room for chocolate and cake though!?)

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Hoping to read a chapter of Hunger Games Part II before I fall asleep!

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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Allie@LiveLaughEat January 25, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Nice photos in dim lighting! I have such a hard time shooting in dark restaurants without opening up my aperture and making things fuzzy all over. You’ve got it down. I need more practice AKA eat out more :)

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2 MelanieF January 26, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Same here! I have a hard time taking pictures when there’s not enough light, even by opening up the aperture on my camera. It comes out all fuzzy.

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3 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm

that bread looks amazing, and so does that baked penne!!!

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4 Kristen @ Change of Pace January 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Oh my! Everything looks so delicious. I don’t think you’ll regret the cereal choice. Sugar first thing in the morning isn’t appetizing to me. Maybe an afternoon snack pick me up.

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5 Cait's Plate January 25, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Oh my gosh CHOCOLATE CHERRY?!?! That sounds UNreal!

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6 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga January 25, 2012 at 10:16 pm

What a dessert-stravaganza, and I love that. Rice pudding is so good.

The chocolate bread you made looks awesome. It’s so professional and restaurant quality looking..oh wait, you own a restaurant :) You have lucky customers!

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7 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes January 25, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Looks like a delish night!! :)

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8 kathleen @ the daily crumb January 25, 2012 at 10:22 pm

that pasta looks insane!

and you will not regret the cereal decision. like you said, with fun add ins, you won’t even notice the lack of frosted-ness :)

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9 Elle January 25, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Bleh. I hate unfrosted mini wheats :P

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10 Sarah January 25, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Have you ever made pot de Creme!? I feel like its easy but never something my friends or I try at home!

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11 Emily @ The Swallow Flies January 25, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Good luck reading just one chapter! Those books hooked me so hard that I read all three in a timespan of three days!

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12 Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 25, 2012 at 10:28 pm

That looks amazing!
And just wait until you get to book 3.. it’s the BEST!

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13 Emily January 25, 2012 at 10:34 pm

I don’t think you’ll regret the plain cereal either. Think of it as a blank canvas for you to add your own Kath-style frosting to! So many more options with the plain. :)
Those desserts look fantastic! My mouth is watering. Can’t wait to eat dinner so I can get at my own dessert – there’s a cheesecake just lounging in my fridge and it’s been calling my name all day…

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14 Erin January 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm

I think you should have bought both cereals so you could mix them! Compromise. :)

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15 KathEats January 26, 2012 at 9:06 am

Great solution!!!!!! I didn’t think of that.

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16 laura January 25, 2012 at 10:41 pm

you should have bought a box of each, then used 1/2 a serving of each type to make the perfect bowl of cereal..that way you get the best of both worlds! 1/2 the sugar too!

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17 Jen January 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Yeah, I was going to say the same thing. Even just adding a handing of frosted to your cereal bowl or on top of your smoothie. An alternative to granola :)

The bread looks like cinnamon raisin and I can smell it off your page by the way!

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18 KathEats January 26, 2012 at 9:07 am

You guys are so smart :)

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19 Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) January 25, 2012 at 10:46 pm

I don’t think you made a mistake! Way to stay strong!

Karen is the BEST!

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20 Sarah January 25, 2012 at 10:52 pm

We always mixed the sweetened and unsweetened versions of cereals together! It is another good way to eat a bit less sugar.

Dinner looks amazing!

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21 J3nn(Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) January 25, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Wow, only 26 dollars for those incredible meals, that’s awesome!! Everything looks so tasty. :)

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22 Lindsay January 25, 2012 at 11:02 pm

I would have bought the sugary cereal, because it was what you were craving at the time and always restricting your cravings will result in overeating other things! :(

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23 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 25, 2012 at 11:03 pm

I buy the TJ’s frosted mini wheats and get really sad every time we run out. I’m not sure if the plain would cut it for me. I know that’s probably not what you want to hear though!

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24 The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh January 25, 2012 at 11:29 pm

I shouldn’t read posts like this at 11:30pm, I licked the screen. It all looks wonderful!

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25 Robyn January 25, 2012 at 11:31 pm

No way! I was at Orzo tonight too for restaurant week! We had later 8:45 reservations so I proabably miss you but the food was ah-mazing. Four of us shared everything so we tasted 50% of the menu and the hanger steak was my fav! Maybe I will see you around this weekend? I do need a good loaf…

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26 KathEats January 26, 2012 at 9:07 am

Really!? I saw another friend of mine there too! We were in the gallery and left about 9pm

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27 Greta @ Staying Lost January 25, 2012 at 11:33 pm

I bet you made the right decision- if it’s really not sweet enough for you when you try it, I’m sure you’ll add things to make it better. I do hope you’ll post a review of the cereal when you try it! I’ve never had the unfrosted ones before and I’m curious!

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28 Khushboo January 26, 2012 at 12:03 am

You def made the right decision! As much as I love Frosted Wheat, the sweetness is a bit too intense for the morning!

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29 Sara January 26, 2012 at 12:09 am

hmmm….i think your cereal dilemma is an interesting question for the intutive eating paradigm that you preach — does intuitive eating sometimes mean actually choosing something (relatively) less healthy because it’s what you want? maybe you could do a post on this?

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30 Mizzy3030 January 26, 2012 at 8:43 am

Yes, and talk about the emotional aspect of eating, because clearly you associate sugar and calories with negative emotions. Healthy attitude? That’s up for debate.

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31 KathEats January 26, 2012 at 9:18 am

Mizzy, saying that I clearly associate sugar and calories with negative emotions based on the fact that I was using knowledge to make a nutrition decision really doesn’t make much sense. Every doctor and dietitian in America would probably advocate educating oneself with ingredient lists and nutrition facts labels. That knowledge is power for your health.

Did you notice that I ate a beautiful sugar-filled dessert at the end of my meal? There is a time and place for sugar. Using a nutrition facts label to choice a breakfast cereal with less added sugar to eat for breakfast daily is a good example of a small change one can make to eat a healthier diet without making any drastic dietary changes. Enjoying dessert at the end of a special occasion is a good example of a time when sugar should be celebrated.

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32 Chloe January 26, 2012 at 11:46 am

Most of your breakfasts have more added sugar in the toppings you put on your oatmeal than if you’d just bought the cereal you like! Mizzy makes a good point – you put A LOT of emotion into all of your eating, and very little education anymore.

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33 KathEats January 26, 2012 at 11:48 am

Have you done a nutritional analysis on them? That’s not nearly as much sugar as you all seem to think

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34 KathEats January 26, 2012 at 9:13 am

When I read the intuitive eating book and wrote my thoughts on it, I really kind of doubt the whole “let yourself eat as many brownies as you want and you won’t want them anymore.” I do think there is some psychology to eating and denying something, but I think the context has much more importance than anything else. For example, going to a wedding and denying yourself a slice of wedding cake seems like a much bigger restriction than opting out of sugar in your coffee, sugar on your oatmeal, sugar in your cereal. There are some choices that just have to be made because habits are really hard to break. Sometimes intelligence has to come first – like in this sugar staple issue. I think the obesity problem in our country is a good example of how sugar has gotten out of control and lack of awareness leads to desensitivities. I question how much their philosophy really holds true. But I definitely think there is SOME truth to it – but mostly for special occasion sweets.

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35 Erin January 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm

My family eats plentyof sugar, but I try to avoid it at breakfast for the most part. My two-year-old LOVES oatmeal, and I put maybe 1/2 tsp of Okinawan brown sugar in it for him since we use plain oats. I figure that’s tons better than buying him those sickeningly sweet packets. Anyway, my husband fixed him a bowl of multigrain cheerios the other day, and I just about had a fit. I let him eat cake, candy, and other fun sweets, but I like to avoid it for the most part at breakfast. He ate the cheerios (with the sugar), and hollered for more. Wonder why. ;-)

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36 Erin January 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Oops….he fixed him the cheerios AND added a spoonful of sugar to them.

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37 Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl January 26, 2012 at 12:10 am

$26 for 3 courses? Sweet. The Neapolitan Baked Penne looks awesome! As for the frosted, I think its good to eat once in a while. Maybe you could by a small package. :) I am ultra picky about sugar grams, too. Would have picked up the plain.

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38 Dee January 26, 2012 at 1:23 am

Yum to everything in this post! You had me at chocolate and cherry. Yowza. :)

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39 jenna k January 26, 2012 at 1:34 am

that food looks amazing. i shouldn’t have looked at the pictures right before bed! :)
as far as cereals go, multigrain cheerios never, EVER do me wrong. 6 grams of sugar, and they’ll lightly sweetened, so they’re basically perfect. they can be a little bit expensive, so i always make sure to catch them on sale or with a coupon.

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40 Kavi January 26, 2012 at 1:39 am

Restaurant week is such a great way to try new restaurants… or try all the dishes at your favorite restaurant! The food at Orzo looks amazing!

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41 Em (WIne and Butter) January 26, 2012 at 4:19 am

I THINK it will take a tiny bit of ‘learning to love’ the un frosted cereal… but then your taste buds will adapt and you’ll grow to prefer it (UNLESS you make the mistake of next time buying the frosted cereal, in which case you could have a few months of hard work getting your taste buds back to the unfrosted kind….). OR thats how these things usually work right ….!? ;) ps – SUPER ripe banana topping!!!!

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42 Rene January 26, 2012 at 4:26 am

How do you feel about Quaker Oatmeal Squares? I love how great they taste, plus they’re whole grain but sugar and brown sugar are pretty high on the ingredients list! I know you enjoy them too! And what are your thoughts on the sugar vs evaporated cane juice/fructose debate?

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43 KathEats January 26, 2012 at 9:08 am

I don’t think they are a “best choice” but they are definitely not a bad choice either. I would buy them. I think the answer to the sugar vs. all kinds of sweetener debates is that food should not need added sweeteners. If it must (like ice cream) then just use sugar.

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44 Kristin January 26, 2012 at 5:10 am

WOW! I think I might actually be drooling after looking at all your pictures. :) That chocolate-cherry bread looks incredible. And I’ve had the Wheat Squares cereal before. It is very yummy and definitely a favorite in my house.

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45 Maria @ Sinfully Nutritious January 26, 2012 at 5:32 am

What a fabulous dinner! I don’t think you will regret the shredded wheat, and you could always add a little sweetener to your milk and not even come close to what they put in the box. When in that dilemma, I usually buy both and have a handful of each.

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46 Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) January 26, 2012 at 5:42 am

The more pictures of new and delicious breads you post the more jealous I become that we do not have a Great Harvest here in this area of Texas. Your dinner looks great too!

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47 Ashley @ Coffee, Cake and Cardio January 26, 2012 at 6:24 am

It can be so tempting to buy sugary cereals. Fruit loops are my vice.

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48 Hillary January 26, 2012 at 7:02 am

Restaurant Week is one of my favorite events of the year! A few of my girlfriends and I do the Baltimore one twice a year (January and July) and try to hit a new restaurant every time. We’re going to one of the best rated restaurants in B-more this Friday—I am PSYCHED!

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49 Simply Life January 26, 2012 at 7:17 am

I just finished Hunger Games- I’ll be curious to hear what you think of the 2nd one!

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50 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles January 26, 2012 at 7:50 am

I think purchasing the plain wheats and sweetening it yourself with natural sweeteners like fruits and honey is a great choice…helps to control the sugars and is better overall for your body. Your dinner looked over the top yummy! Mussels…pasta…and that lemon cake…oh my!

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51 Amanda January 26, 2012 at 7:56 am

I love chocolate cherry bread. I took a baking class around this same time last year and it was one of my favorite things we made! But there was so.much.butter. in the recipe they had us use. I’d love to make a lighter version.

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52 Karen January 26, 2012 at 8:09 am

You did the right thing in the cereal aisle…why not save your discretionary calories/sugar allotment for the good stuff, i.e. GH bread board samples?! You can always doctor up your cereal with natural sweetness or a drizzle of honey if you are craving it at consumption time. Luckily, sugary cereal never appeals to anyone in my household in the least, so I don’t even think about buying it.

Your GH team is such a fun group, seemingly thrilled with their camera time…they crack me up! I can just tell they are dedicated worker bees too!

Juicy chewy dates = yum!

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53 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope January 26, 2012 at 8:18 am

Chocolate cherry bread sounds amazing!!! :) Restaurant week is awesome. I love that most cities have that. The food looks absolutely delicious.

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54 Katie January 26, 2012 at 8:29 am

What a fun, full post! Dinner looks amazing, wish we had restaurants like that in Lincoln, Nebraska. The chocolate cherry bread looks divine, although I love the combination of cherry and white chocolate. I don’t see plain cereals as plain and boring, I love cereals like wheat chex and bran flakes. I’m thinking I need to read The Hunger Games soon.

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55 Erika - The Teenage Taste January 26, 2012 at 8:30 am

It’s a good thing I don’t own a bakery or I’d never have any bread to sell to the customers! I’d probably just eat it all! Especially that chocolate cherry bread… ;-)

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56 Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count January 26, 2012 at 8:30 am

Sounds like a great restaurant and a great price deal!

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57 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 26, 2012 at 8:31 am

I love Mini Wheats! I don’t think I would have been able to resist the frosted wheat squares. ;) But I’m sure with some fun mix-ins, the plain kind will be almost as good!

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58 Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning January 26, 2012 at 8:34 am

You won’t regret the cereal choice at all. Once you pile toppings on it, you won’t even notice that they’re not frosted!
Are you a Puffins fan at all? I used to eat them all the time, but absolutely can not bring them in my house anymore because I devour the box handful by handful all day long. They are SO GOOD.

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59 Kayla January 26, 2012 at 8:44 am

you won’t regret the plain wheat squares! now you can have a dessert with sugar that you’ll savor way more than a breakfast cereal already topped with sweet fruit, nut butter and dried fruit!! :)

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60 Lauren January 26, 2012 at 8:48 am

Hey Kath, Just wanted to let you know I picked up a jar of Fig butter at tj’s today! I know you love it and Ive never been able to find it there before. Thought u might want to pick up a few jars if youre out!

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61 KathEats January 26, 2012 at 9:09 am

Fun!! We don’t have a TJs so I must wait patiently for my next trip

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62 SweatyGirl January 26, 2012 at 9:02 am

I think that citrus cake has my name on it!

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63 Larbs January 26, 2012 at 9:39 am

Loved Orzo! We’re going to restaurant week on Saturday!

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64 Angel7 January 26, 2012 at 10:10 am

Our 3 year-old daughter absolutely loves dates!

I am so plain Jane :) that I always choose cereal that has little to no sugar.

http://faithfulsolutions.blogspot.com/

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65 Melissa @ HerGreenLife January 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

I first encountered chocolate cherry bread at Zingerman’s Bakehouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It’s been over 8 years since then, but for Christmas this year, my husband figured out how to make this bread for me. It was every bit as good as I remembered — I’m planning to post the recipe later today!

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66 Carolyn January 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm

If you are still in Ann Arbor living there Great Harvest is featuring Chocolate Cherry Bomb bread this Saturday on their posted weekly baking menu. Might want to check it out..

I am not associated with the shop, just love the breads.. Although i do seem to find that the nutritional labeling on many of the more “indulgent” breads are not on the bags. Except for ingredients. The basic grain breads yes.. Chocolate Cherry Bomb etc… not so much… Would really love to know what i am eating.. From a daily “healthy eating of real foods” aspect, of course..

Kath do you label your breads at the bakery with more than the ingredient list? I mean not the basics, but the special breads like in the above post. I know i would be really interested in the general breakdowns.. Protein, fat, carbs, sugars, sodium..

thanks!

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67 KathEats January 26, 2012 at 1:12 pm

We try to have nutrition labels for all of our breads, although sometimes they are slow coming out

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68 modernworkinggirl January 26, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Individually wrapped dates? wow.

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69 Kristen @ Random Ramblings January 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I can’t put down the Hunger Games…. but after a delicious meal like that, it’d be lights out for me!

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70 Lindsay @ Salt, Sun & Sanity January 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Those Hunger Games books are more addictive than popchips!

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71 Anna Crouch January 27, 2012 at 9:04 am

If you haven’t tried the wheat squares yet, don’t worry, you won’t miss the frosted ones! Well…I mainly say that because I just love the texture of them! That’s why I buy them sometimes. When you add in your milk and fruit, the sweetness of the fruit makes them DELISH!

And P.S. All that talk about this being such an “emotional” decision. Dear lord….you’re not denying yourself of what you truly wanted just because you opted for the slightly healthier version this once. Like you said, there’s a time and a place to consume sugar. In breakfast just in’t really your choice of placement :)

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72 ~Christy @ wonderofallthings January 27, 2012 at 11:22 pm

That lemon cake looks amazing! Just finished book 2 and started book 3 — I can see how getting book 3 accidentally and starting that after #1 would completely confuse you! But it’s so, so good! Enjoy :)

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73 Life's a Bowl January 28, 2012 at 8:56 am

All of your eats look like tasty treats! I just found out it is or as restaurant week in DC- no clue when it started or when it ends… Guess they need to up the PR next year!

P.S. Any of the GH sweet swirl breads are my kryptonite! Slightly toasted to get the sugars flowing… MMM :D

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74 Jenny January 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm

That bread looks to die for! I grew up in Germany and the chocolate breads and croissants were my fav. Great pics!

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75 Anna January 30, 2012 at 10:14 pm

The Great Harvest near me in Atlanta closed–that top picture makes me want to weep. I had a serious love connection with their white chocolate cherry bread…

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